Excerpts from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's I AM THAT
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There is only one dreamer, the
dreaming many dreams
In every body there is a dream,
but the dreamer is the same,
the one Self,
which reflects itself in each body as "I am".
To me all [persons] are equal.
Differences in appearance and expression are there,
but they do not matter.
Just as the shape of a gold ornament does not affect the
so does man's essence remain unaffected.
There is absolutely no difference between me and others,
except in my knowing myself as I am.
I know it for certain and you do not.
The difference is only in the mind and temporary.
I was like you, you will be like me.
My self and your self are one.
I know it, but you don't.
That is all the difference - and it cannot last.
This [helping people] is mere imagination.
In truth you do not help others,
because there are no others.
In reality there are no others,
and by helping yourself
you help everybody else.
I am the other person,
the other person is myself;
in name and shape we are different,
but there is no separation.
At the root of our being we are one.
Where are the many points [of consciousness]?
In your mind.
You insist that your world is independent of your mind.
How can it be?
Your desire to know other people's minds
is due to your not knowing your own mind.
First know your own mind and you will find
that the question of other minds does not arise at all,
for there are no other people.
You are the common factor,
the only link between the minds.
Being is consciousness.
"I am" applies to all.
The dreams are not equal, but the dreamer is one.
I am the insect, I am the poet - in dream.
But in reality I am neither. I am beyond all dreams.
I am the light in which all dreams appear and disappear.
I am both inside and outside the dream.
Just as a man having a headache knows the ache
and also knows that he is not the ache,
so do I know the dream,
myself dreaming and myself not dreaming -
all at the same time.
I am what I am before,
during and after the dream.
But what I see in dream, I am not.
Ultimately nothing is mine or yours, everything is ours.
Just be one with yourself and you will be one with all,
at home in the entire universe.
Even to talk of re-uniting the person with the self is not right,
because there is no person,
only a mental picture given a false reality by conviction.
Nothing was divided and there is nothing to unite.
There is no "my self" and "his self".
There is the Self, the only Self of all.
Misled by the diversity of names and shapes, minds and bodies,
you imagine multiple selves.
We both are the self.
The one witness reflects itself
in the countless bodies as "I am".
As long as the bodies, however subtle, last,
the "I am" appears as many.
Beyond the body there is only the One.
I am one, but appear as many.
Delve deeply into the sense "I am"
and you will surely discover that the perceiving centre is universal,
as universal as the light that illumines the world.
All that happens in the universe happens to you,
the silent witness.
On the other hand, whatever is done,
is done by you,
the universal and inexhaustible energy.
All the dreams are of a common imaginary World
and influence each other.
The variety of personal worlds is not so great.
All the dreams are superimposed over a common world.
To some extent, they shape and influence each other.
The basic unity operates in spite of all.
At the root of it all lies self-forgetfulness;
not knowing who I am.
In a hospital there may be many patients, all sleeping, all dreaming,
each dreaming his own private, personal dream,
unrelated, unaffected, having one single factor in common - illness.
Similarly, we have divorced ourselves
in our imagination
from the real world of common experience,
and enclosed ourselves in a cloud
of personal desires and fears, images and thoughts,
ideas and concepts.
Love is seeing the unity under the imaginary diversity.
When all the false self-identifications are thrown away,
what remains is all-embracing love.
To see myself in everybody,
and everybody in myself,
most certainly is love.
The consciousness in you
and the consciousness in me,
apparently two, really one,
seek unity and that is love.